What is causing my hand pain?
Why Does My Hand Hurt?
It is possible to experience hand pain for a number of reasons, from an accident to a persistent condition. The symptoms can usually be relieved with treatment.
Hand pain has a number of possible causes, which are discussed in this article.
De Quervain's Tendinitis
The condition is also known as de Quervain's tendinosis. A pain develops on the wrist's thumb side.
You may experience pain gradually or suddenly. It travels up the forearm and across the thumb.
You may experience pain if you have de Quervain's tendinitis if:
- Fist your hand
- Hold objects in a grabbing or holding motion
- Make a wrist turn
It is caused by irritation or inflammation of the wrist tendons at the base of the thumb. Often, de Quervain's is caused by repetitive activities and overuse.
New mothers can get it if they hold their babies in an awkward position. De Quervain's disease is also more likely to occur after wrist fractures.
Treatments for pain relief include:
A wrist splint that rests the thumb and wrist
Medication that prevents inflammation
It may be necessary to undergo surgery if your symptoms remain severe after other treatments have failed.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It is one of the most common nerve disorders of the hand. Affected areas include:
- The palm of the hand and a few fingers
It is common for the pain to be worse at night than during the day. Additionally, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to:
In particular, you may feel it in your thumb, index finger, and middle finger. Objects can be difficult to grip as a result.
Swelling constricts the median nerve, causing discomfort. Most of the fingers, except for the pinkie finger and the half of the ring finger closest to it, receive sensation and muscle impulses from the median nerve.
The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnels are structures made up of bones and connective tissues located at the base of the hand. An inflamed or irritated tendon or other swelling can pinch the median nerve in this narrow space.
Among the most common treatments are:
Resting the hand and wrist
Anti-inflammatory or analgesic painkillers
If your symptoms persist for more than six months, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Fractures, or breaks in bones, can cause severe hand pain. In addition to pain, you may also experience:
- Loss of movement
In the case of a fractured finger, for example, you may not be able to move the finger fully. You may notice that your finger is swollen and, in some cases, slightly shorter than normal.
Fractures can be classified into several types:
- Simple (broken bone is aligned and stable)
- Complex (break may cause bone to shift or become displaced, making treatment more difficult)
- Comminuted (bones broken in more than one place)
- Compound (broken bone breaks through skin)
Treatment for fractures depends on the type of break. Simple breaks are often treated with casts or splints. In the case of more complicated fractures, pins, wires, or plates may be required. A surgical procedure may also be required in order to completely set the broken bone.
It is one of the leading causes of hand pain. The condition causes joints to lose cartilage that allows them to move smoothly against one another. It is common for painful, sometimes debilitating swelling to occur as the cartilage deteriorates.
Typically, this occurs in the following areas of the hand:
- Base of the thumb
- Middle joint of one or more fingers
- End joint, which is closest to the finger tip
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. The cartilage is gradually degenerated as a result of this condition. This can occur as a result of aging or following an injury, such as a fracture or dislocation. It causes the following symptoms when it affects the hand:
Bony nodules may also develop at the middle or end joints of the fingers. It is also possible for osteoarthritis to cause deep, aching pain at the base of the thumb. Hands may also become weaker, making everyday tasks more difficult.
A variety of treatments are available depending on the severity of the pain and disability. Treatment includes:
Anti-inflammatory or analgesic painkillers
Surgery may be recommended if these treatments do not provide relief.
Doctors call this stenosing tenosynovitis. Affected fingers or thumbs lock in a bent position, which can be painful, especially when bending or straightening them.
As a result of irritation of the flexor tendons, which control the movements of the fingers and thumb, the condition develops. They can become thickened within the tendon sheath that surrounds the flexor tendons as a result of this condition.
It is also possible for nodules to form on the affected tendons. The sheath itself may thicken, too.
All of these factors prevent the tendons from moving smoothly. When you attempt to straighten a bent finger or thumb, the tendon may become stuck. There may also be a catching sensation when the finger or thumb is locked in place, followed by a pop as the tendon is released.
The cause of trigger finger is unknown to doctors. You’re more likely to get it if you have:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The condition is more common in women than in men. In addition, trigger finger is more prevalent in adults between the ages of 40 and 60.
There may be a solution to the problem if you rest, sometimes while wearing a splint. It is possible to relieve the pain with over-the-counter pain medications. It is often possible to relieve symptoms with corticosteroid injections (steroid shots). If other treatments do not work, your doctor may recommend surgery.
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